We asked some of the boldest thinkers what the world will be like in 50 years. Here’s what their answers tell us about the future.
Zoltan Istvan is widely recognized for spearheading the modern-day transhumanist movement, which advocates for using radical science to improve and evolve the human being. He was the 2016 presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party. Istvan has spoken at the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, Microsoft, Harvard, and was the opening keynote at the Financial Times Camp Alphaville.
Who will run the world?
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The world will be run by AI networks and networks of quantum intelligence. Nations will have ceased to exist as independent physical entities because they will be online and have all merged as one. Humans may exist, but they will be off the AI grid, and contributing very little to progress and what is happening to the world.
Which country will have the most powerful economy?
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Countries won’t exist in a formal way. Economies won’t exist either, except those of people who didn’t choose to merge their brains with AI. But the real scale of intelligence and progress will all be done in the online clouds and around the universe as quantum intelligence.
What kinds of companies will be the most important?
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Those humans who join AI and merge their brains directly with machines won’t work, but will live in virtual worlds freely. Those humans that don’t merge with AI will have companies whose primary goal is to keep AI out of the lives of the rest of the humans left on the planet.
What will cause the biggest conflicts?
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A conflict of who merges with AI and who doesn’t is coming. It will likely be a civil war of sorts. Ultimately, people won’t be able to stop progress, and most humans will upload themselves into new worlds where they don’t die, don’t have to work, or live as biological beings who suffer.
How will people earn a living?
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If you are uploaded to a cloud, you won’t have to earn a living. You will give up some control of your life, and that will be your payment into this world to exist. It will be a near-perfect world of bliss and progress.
How will we communicate with each other?
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Communication will be only through thoughts. Nothing else will exist for those that are uploaded into the cloud or live in quantum intelligence enclaves.
What will we eat?
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There will be no eating, no breathing, no drinking, no using the bathroom. The flesh will be gone, paving the way for the exploration of how intelligent we can become.
How will we die?
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There will be no death, even if we want to die. We will be able to turn ourselves off for periods of time, but even through quantum archaeology, we may be recreated many times, in many realities.
How will we find love?
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Love in a romantic way will cease to exist. We will only be willing to communicate with the nearly all-knowing AI that we are connected to—which, in fact, is one with us. However, this AI will be connected to everyone else too, so we will always be interconnected in a sort of hive mind.
How will we get information?
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We will constantly build out networks and use of the quantum world outward. This will increase our intelligence all the time, every moment. That is the real goal of this new world—as much power and intelligence as possible. We must conquer the universe.
What forms of transportation will we use?
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Our minds and thoughts will travel at the speed of light, using networks of computer chips.
What will cities be like?
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There will only be one city in the uploaded world, the great AI city of minds.
What will our borders be like?
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There will be no borders, except the ability to sabotage the AI and quantum intelligence enclaves themselves. This will not be permitted.
Will we have ventured to other planets?
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Yes, there will be humans left that have traveled to live and procreate on other planets. In case our great experiment with uploading ourselves to the cloud fails, we will still have our species to carry on and try again.
What will our most valuable resource be?
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Our ability to reason. If we can think, we are alive. But if we have lost that ability, all is lost.
What will the biggest change to our natural world be?
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People will come to realize that nature and the material world are harsh, and the world technologists are trying to bring will be one without suffering.
Will our world be more equal or less equal?
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There will be great inequality between humans and those who have uploaded themselves.
What technology will bring about the biggest change in society?
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Neural implants that are so good we can transfer our consciousness to a computer in full form.
What’s your best prediction for the world in 50 years?
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A great transhumanist war will occur between those who embrace radical technology in their bodies and those who don’t. Many will be affected by this time, and some will call it the end times. Those that side with technology and AI will win.